Musician with Tinnitus & Hyperacusis for 5 Weeks from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss — Questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BrianC, May 6, 2016.

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    1. BrianC

      BrianC Member

      Third Coast
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Hey guys,

      I'm a musician and I got my T from failing to protect my ears on stage. I was warned all those years ago to always wear both in-ear monitors but I guess I forgot this advice and wore just one monitor in my right ear as my left ear took a bashing from nearby cymbals. My T sounds like a whistling kettle around 8300 kHz in my left ear (about 5 out of 10 loudness) and like a standard concert tinnitus in my right ear around 6500 kHz (about a 2).

      I've had to cancel all my shows, which were my main source of income, forget a major project I was producing and move back in with my parents. Obviously, the first line I open with on a date.

      Along with the T I have a case of H where some high pitched frequencies are so intense they cause me to leave the room. These noises include dishes clanking, doors shutting, dogs barking and even the sound of some women' s voices.

      Overall I'm doing ok. The real battle with T is purely mental and I know I won't see improvement until I learn to stop blaming myself and being so regretful about all the events that led to my hearing loss.

      I have a few questions that I would love answered by anyone who has been in similar circumstances.

      1) Will my hyperacusis go away? I've seen people on the board that say it could go away within 3 months. What are the chances of that?

      2) What are the important steps to take in the acute phase of tinnitus? I had one production session that seemed to make my T worse, I'm still mad at myself for doing that. Should I stay away from any noises over 60 dB? What else should I be focusing on in my first year of T?

      I've heard good things about LLLT, does anyone wanna sell their "Lucky Laser"?

      3) What retraining therapy worked for you? Is there any way to Do-It-Yourself TRT, CBT, or Heidelberg Model of Music Therapy? I have found that rain sounds are masking and soothing, I really enjoy being out in nature as the sounds of the wind and water are great on my ears and brain. A professional retraining therapy is kind of expensive, but I'd be willing to try one on a recommendation.

      I find this sound to be pleasing in a way. I know it's based on research, will this help me?

      4) Are hearing aids helpful in reducing T? The healthcare system around audiology seems so pricey. Have you seen the iHear HD hearing devices? I feel like the right kind of hearing aid would help steer my brain out of the T. Anyone had luck with this?

      5) Are there any promising clinical trials in the US I should check out? The AM-101 trials have closed for US residents for now and University of Arkansas is doing an rTMS trial, but I'm not sure I want my brain pounded with theta waves or whatever...

      I've been reading this board since I've had T and I'd like to say thanks for all information, honesty and inspiration. Without you guys I would feel alone out here, because if there is one thing T does to you it's separate you from everyone else in a very private and persistent manner. I have gotten to the point where I realize that habituation is my best option and that can't happen until I stop dwelling on this so much.

      Thanks for all your input,
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. michaelbio

      michaelbio Member Benefactor

      Long Island, New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      I am a musician too, and stopped playing shows, partially due to tinnitus but also burnt out from shows. I haven't been on stage in three years, and haven't recorded either. Though I want to start recording, which i think with just listening at the volume low, I can tolerate it. Playing on stage is another thing. I sing live, and wearing ear plugs is tough, which I didn't wear ear plugs live. I was playing electronic industrial music, so there wasn't much acoustics on stage since we used an electronic drumset, but the monitors probably didn't help.

      I want to get back on stage at one point. It's sad giving up something you love to do. I would have to wear some 33db reduction earplugs and just train myself to do it.

      I had tinnitus when I was 10 from an ear infection and it gets worse if you don't take precautions to stop it.

      I don't have a lot of answers to your questions. I can tell you this, you have to distract yourself with as many different interests. There is nothing wrong taking a break from music, and if you don't want to take a break from your shows, I would invest in really excellent ear plugs and train yourself to use them on stage.
    3. Bobby B

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      You absolutely need to protect your ears from sounds above 60db for at least 6-12 months to give them the chance to heal - and yes LLLT may help especially if its recent so do get a device its only 1600USD and you can use it for long term prevention as well.

      In the very early acute stage LLLT can even regenerate hair cells so who would not want such a device at home ready to be used asap in case of future noise exposure unless you plan on wearing ear protection outside for the rest of your life.

      Don't use hearing aids right now as they just amplify sounds you don't want that at this point maybe much later if you still have really trouble with hearing.

      Wear ear protection at all times outside - inside cars, public transports, restaurants, while cooking etc.. and yes your T will be a lot more obvious and "loud" but that's the only way to get some long term H and hearing range improvements and is something you have to put up for the time being.

      Buy some good earmuffs - the Peltor x series is the best - I have the x5a those are big but very comfortable to wear all day and cut noise very well. Don't worry about the look - you already have enough issues to handle without having to worry what other people think of you.

      Some muffs are smaller but cut less noise but you can double-up with silicone earplugs like the Crescendo series get those rated at 25db.

      Avoid TRT/CBT therapies for the time being - those are fine for stress/anxiety/unknown T cases but since they involve listening to sounds and avoiding ear protection they won't apply to acoustic trauma cases and even make things worse over time if you have noise damage.

      We have a "back to silence" method here on this forum, it does work and is free of charge.

      I'd say concentrate on healing your ears first then deal with T at a later stage - if the ears heal to a certain degree then the T may get softer which will be easier to switch off by the brain but this will happen later on maybe in 6 months to 1-2 years its a long process as ears do heal but take a very long time.

      Patience and commitment is key here

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